Category Archives: Solidarity Links

Need for high level judicial inquiry into death of Judge B. H. Loya

From: Concerned Citizens <constitutionalconduct@gmail.com>

December 2, 2017

Dear friends in the media,

Please find below an appeal to the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court to institute a “high level judicial enquiry” into the controversial circumstances surrounding the death of Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya. The appeal cites the report on Admiral (Retd.) L.Ramdas’ request in this regard as also the opinions of Justice (Retd.) B.H.Marlapalle, formerly of the Bombay High Court and Justice (Retd.) A.P.Shah, former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court on the need for a probe or enquiry.

Amongst the 32  signatories listed in the appeal are at least 10 officers who retired either as Secretaries to the Government of India or from posts in that rank, 4 former Ambassadors from the Indian Foreign Service, a former Chief Information Commissioner of a State Government, 2 former Chief Secretaries of State Governments, at least 4 officers of the rank of Additional Chief Secretaries and several others who retired at the rank of Secretary to State Governments or above. Almost all these officers were also signatories to an open letter written on June 10 this year in which they asserted that they had no political affiliations as a group but were bound only to the credo of impartiality, neutrality and commitment to the Constitution of India.

We will be grateful if you cover our appeal in print, digital/ social media or visual media.

December 2, 2017

The Honourable Chief Justice of India

The Honourable Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court

 

Honourable Chief Justices,

Please find attached a report about the request made by Admiral (Retd.) L.Ramdas to yourselves that a high level judicial enquiry be initiated into the controversial circumstances of the death of Judge Brijgopal Harkishan Loya. Justice (Retd.) B.H.Marlapalle, former judge of the Bombay High Court, and Justice (Retd.) A.P.Shah, former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, have also expressed the opinion that a probe or enquiry is needed.

We, the undersigned retired civil servants, would like to place on record our support for the request made by Admiral (Retd.) L.Ramdas to institute a “high level judicial inquiry” into this matter and urge you to take appropriate action for all the reasons mentioned in his representation. 

Yours faithfully,

1.    S.P. Ambrose, IAS (Retd.), former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Shipping and Transport, GoI.

2.    Ishrat Aziz, IFS (Retd.), former Ambassador to Brazil

3.    G.Balagopal, IAS (Retd.), former Resident Representative, UNICEF, North Korea

4.    Sundar Burra, IAS (Retd.), former Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra

5.    Kalyani Chaudhuri, IAS (Retd.), former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal

6.    Vibha Puri Das, IAS (Retd.), former Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs,GoI

7.    Keshav Desiraju, IAS (Retd.), former Health Secretary, GoI

8.     M.G.Devasahayam, IAS (Retd.), former Secretary to Govt. of Haryana   

9.    Sushil Dubey, IFS (Retd.), former Ambassador to Sweden

10. K.P.Fabian, IFS (Retd.), former Ambassador to Italy

11. Meena Gupta, IAS (Retd.), former Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, GoI

12. Deepa Hari, IRS (Resigned)

13. Dr. Sajjad Hassan, IAS (Retd.), former Commissioner (Planning), Govt. of Manipur

14. K. John Koshy, IAS (Retd.), former State Chief Information Commissioner, West Bengal

15. Ajai Kumar, Indian Forest Service (Resigned), former Director, Ministry of Agriculture, GoI

16. Arun Kumar, IAS (Retd.), former Chairman, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority

17. Harsh Mander, IAS (Retd.), Govt. of Madhya Pradesh

18. Aditi Mehta, IAS (Retd.), former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Rajasthan

19. Sunil Mitra, IAS (Retd.), former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, GoI

20. Deb Mukharji, IFS (Retd.), former Ambassador to Nepal

21. Anup Mukerji, IAS (Retd.), former Chief Secretary, Govt. of Bihar

22. Alok Perti, IAS (Retd.) former Secretary, Ministry of Coal, GoI

23. N.K. Raghupathy, IAS (Retd.), former Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, GoI

24. Aruna Roy, IAS (Resigned)

25. Manab Roy, IAS (Retd.), former Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal 

26. Umrao Salodia, IAS (Retd.), former Chairman, Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation, Govt. of Rajasthan

27. Deepak Sanan, IAS (Retd.), former Principal Adviser (AR) to the Chief Minister of the Govt. of Himachal Pradesh

28. E.A.S. Sarma, IAS, (Retd.), former Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, GoI

29. Dr.N.C.Saxena, IAS (Retd.), former Secretary, Planning Commission, GoI

30. Ardhendu Sen, IAS (Retd.), former Chief Secretary, Govt. of West Bengal

31. Dr. Raju Sharma, IAS (Retd.), former Member, Board of Revenue, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh

32. Jawhar Sircar, IAS (Retd.), former Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI, and CEO, Prasar Bharati

Report on Admir…s’ request pdf.pdf

Regarding Admiral (Retd.) L.Ramdas’ request

Former Navy Chief Admiral L. Ramdas has requested that a “high level judicial inquiry” into “mysterious circumstances” of the death of Brijgopal Harkishan Loya , the Special CBI Judge presiding over the trial of BJP President Amit Shah and several Gujarat Police Officers in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. In a letter addressed to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Admiral L. Ramdas has requested that a “hig h level judicial inquiry” be immediately initiated.

Former Bombay High Court Judge, Justice (Retd.) B.H. Marlapalle, also has sought an SIT probe into the Judge’s death.

Former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice A.P. Shah had also recently spoken o ut about the allegations, opining that not enquiring into the allegations made by the family “would send a very wrong signal to the judiciary, particularly the lower cadre”. He had also expressed concerns over allegations of corruption, as Judge Loya was a llegedly offered a bribe of Rs. 100 crore.

Full text of Admiral L. Ramdas’s letter.

Dear Hon Chief Justice of India,

NEED FOR A SPECIAL JUDICIAL ENQUIRY TO INVESTIGATE INTO THE SUDDEN DEATH OF JUSTICE LOYA

All Democracies exist and survive on three main pi llars – namely the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. Freedom from British rule, was won after a prolonged struggle and The Indian Constitution was evolved after nearly two and a half years of debate in the Constituent Assembly, and passed on 29 Nov ember 1949 and India became a Republic on 26 January 1950. Our Constitution became effective. This one and only holy book which matters, subscribes to the above concept of our Democracy, wherein all our citizens are considered to be equal in the eyes of th e law.

This is all the more important when a CBI judge, Justice Loya, specially appointed by the CJI of the Mumbai High Court to investigate the murder of Sohrabbudin , dies under mysterious circumstances while on a visit to Nagpur. The silence of the two judges who apparently persuaded the late Judge Loya to travel to Nagpur, and accompanied him, is disturbing to say the least. The inaction of the judiciary about this sequence of events thus far is indeed surprising. This is all the more puzzling in the co ntext of the recent revelations by family members of the late Justice Loya, who have raised certain questions, apprehending foul play in the circumstances leading to his sudden death.

A judicial probe at this point, at least to respond to the queries raise d by the family, and to uphold the image of the judiciary in the eyes of the people of India, is absolutely necessary. As a former Chief of the Indian Navy, I feel strongly that it is critically important to clear any doubts about this entire incident. The refore , in the larger interests of the nation and its people, and above all in upholding the Constitution of India and the image of our entire legal system, a high level judicial enquiry be initiated immediately .

http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/11/28/admiral – ramdas – requests – judicial – enquiry – into – judge – loyas – mysterious – death/


Lalita Ramdas

We either win this war to save our land, or we will be exterminated, because we have nowhere to run to.Ken Saro Wiwa–

`LARA’ – Ramu Farm,
Village Bhaimala,
PO Kamarle,
Alibag-402209
Raigad Dist, Maharashtra, INDIA

Phone: +91-2141-248711
Fax:     +91-2141-248733
Mobile – +91-9422495315

CERAS statement on Amarnath pilgrims

 

14 July 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — ATTACK ON HINDU PILGRIMS IN KASHMIR

CERAS condemns the fatal attack on Hindu pilgrims on their way to Amarnath, one of the most revered Hindu shrines, during this pilgrimage season. It also urges caution in ascribing blame.  The attack took place around 8.10 pm (IST) on Monday 10th July at Botengo village in Anantnag district in South Kashmir on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

Nobody has as yet claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack.  However, at least initially, unspoken assumptions and innuendo seemed to imply that Monday’s attack is the work of armed Kashmiri nationalists.  In this context, it is important to note that if indeed this were so, it would be a major aberration.

In fact Kashmiri nationalists have often publicly stated, and this year is no exception, that the pilgrims will not be harmed. A month ago well-known Kashmiri nationalist Syed Ali Shah Geelani stated: “The yatra [pilgrimage to Amarnath] has been going on for decades and the people here have treated the pilgrims with unique hospitality. They have always been hospitable, decent and received the pilgrims as their guests”.  And in the wake of yesterday’s attack, nationalist leaders have “expressed deep sorrow and grief over the killing of Amarnath Yatris in Anantnag … and strongly condemned it;” the attack “goes against the very grain of Kashmiri ethos”.

Since 1989 with the increase in Kashmiri nationalist militancy, many Pandits (Kashmiri Hindus) fled.  But many also remained.  Repeated invitations from Kashmiri nationalist guerrillas to Pandits to return to the valley, subvert any communalist narrative of the situation.  Just last year the guerrilla leader Zakir Rashid Bhat stated: “We request Kashmiri Pandits to return to their homes. We take the responsibility of their protection. They should look at those Pandits who have been living in the [Kashmir] Valley. Did they face any problems here?” The nationalists have always made it clear that their conflict is with the Indian state (which maintains one of the largest militarized presences in the world in Kashmir as a way of stamping out militant nationalism); that this is not a Hindu-Muslim conflict, nor is it a conflict where civilians are targeted.

In this context, the attack on the pilgrims yesterday raises many questions.  If it is not nationalist guerrillas who perpetrated the attack, then who is responsible?  And why? In the current state of affairs in India where there is steep escalation in Hindu nationalist rhetoric and actions, where fake news about Muslims killing Hindus has become standard operating procedure, and where Muslims have been attacked and killed by lynch mobs (7 in the last two years), the attack on the Hindu pilgrims to Amarnath has incendiary potential.

As details emerge there seems to be a somewhat better understanding of how the event unfolded.The bus had developed a flat tire and stopped so it could be fixed. Security forces cover the national highway from 4 AM to 7 PM for the Amarnath yatra  and there are definite time schedules for the movement of vehicles carrying pilgrims. The delay resulted in the bus being on the road after the 7pm curfew. The Director-General of the Central Reserve Police Force (one of many government para-military forces in Kashmir) stated: “These yatris [pilgrims] had not registered themselves, as is advised, and did not even become part of the yatra [pilgrimage] convoy, which is escorted by security forces, both to and from Amarnath, everyday. They also violated the 7 pm curfew on movement of yatris.”

One of the pilgrims in the bus, Yogesh Prajapati said that an Army jeep had started following the bus at some point and the terrorists might have aimed at the jeep but ended up hitting the bus.  Some in the media are also making reference to another incident in 2000 when pilgrims and locals who serve them as porters and horsemen were killed in crossfire between Indian security forces unidentified armed fighters.  However it needs to be pointed out that in that instance civilians, including pilgrims to Amarnath were not the targets, but were killed in the crossfire.

As of now there are no answers about who carried out this attack.  For decades, Kashmir has been used as a political football within India and across the border by Pakistan.  While condemning this terrible act of violence, it is also important not to engage in an unsubstantiated blame game, to not conflate communalism and nationalism and to be cognizant that those responsible focus on their own objectives with cynical disregard for the people whose lives are destroyed by their actions.

-30-

cerasmontreal@gmail.com

 

Justice for Omar Khadr

http://ijvcanada.org/2017/ijv-on-omar-khadr/

 

Independent Jewish Voices Canada          13 July 2017

 

IJV Statement On Omar Khadr

Torture and hopelessness were standard operating procedures at Guantanamo when Omar Khadr was a captive.

Independent Jewish Voices Canada welcomes the apology and compensation made by the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau to Omar Khadr after years of shameful treatment meted out to him by U.S. and Canadian authorities, under both Liberal and Conservative governments.

Khadr endured years of horrific imprisonment in the notorious Guantánamo Bay prison, for a long time denied access to legal counsel, subject to torture, finally confessing to various charges in a military “trial” (a process declared illegal under U.S. and international law by the U.S. Supreme Court) under threat of indefinite detention. He was abandoned to his fate by three Canadian governments—the Liberal governments of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, and the Conservative government of Stephen Harper. He was interrogated several times by Canadian CSIS agents, who only stopped as a result of orders from a Canadian court. The Harper government blocked Khadr’s transfer to a Canadian prison and his eventual release for as long as it could, even after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled several times in Khadr’s favour.

Canada’s active participation in Khadr’s mistreatment is part of a larger pattern of gross human rights violations in the course of the seemingly endless “war on terror” in which both Canada and the U.S. have been complicit in other ways, such as the handover of Afghan detainees for torture during the illegal war in Afghanistan.

The Harper Conservatives made Khadr the focus of a campaign of Islamophobia and xenophobia that has now been revived by the Conservatives and their supporters with vitriolic attacks on the recently announced compensation to Khadr. This campaign reflects a combination of ignorance, distortion and racism. These attacks mirror the xenophobic right-wing populist wave—dividing the world into the good West and evil Muslim/Arab east (with Israel counted as an honorary member of the former)–that swept the U.S. with Donald Trump’s accession to the presidency, and has been taken up by Canadian Conservatives, initially spearheaded by Harper and continuing under Andrew Scheer.

As a human rights organization that supports both Palestinian and Israeli rights, Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) strongly opposes any public utterances that support or promote racism or bigotry of any kind, including Islamophobia, anti-Arab racism and anti-Semitism. We also oppose the widespread violations of human rights and their justifications which have been a hallmark of both the “war on terror” and the more recent wave of xenophobia in both the U.S. and Canada. We call on Canadians to resist this wave and to defend the human rights of all people, in particular marginalized peoples everywhere who are subject to racism, discrimination, occupation or military invasion and attacks.

 

Violence against dalits condemned

NSA Against Chandrashekhar Unwarranted: Justice Sawant & Others

Published on: May 13, 2017
On 9th May, 2017 mob violence broke out in Saharanpur city and Rampur in Saharanpur district. This was triggered off when the police lathi-charged a peaceful gathering  at Gandhi Maidan organised by Bhim Army. The crowd had gathered there to protest the anti-Dalit violence at Shabbirpur village that took place on the 5th of May, 2017, in which 60 Dalit houses were burnt and attacked by a mob of Rajputs. Several Dalits were also grievously injured in this attack and have been hospitalised. Many have also fled the village out of fear of further violence.
 
It was in this context that Bhim Army had called for a gathering at Gandhi Maidan where they were demanding compensation for the victims and strict action against the guilty. The police instead started an unprovoked lathi-charge at the gathering, which in turn led to retaliatory violence in parts of Saharanpur city and Rampur town. While the violence that followed the lathi charge was of course condemnable, it is important to note that no one was killed or even seriously injured in this violence. This violence has led to a severe witch-hunt of Bhim Army activists across Saharanpur district and it is has come to our notice that the state government plans to charge the founder of Bhim Army, Chandrashekar, under National Security Act (NSA). There is absolutely nothing in the nature of these protests that warrant such charges against Chandrashekhar or any other activist of Bhim Army. It is evident that Bhim Army is being made a scapegoat in order to deflect attention from the Shabbirpur violence inflicted by the Rajputs.
Justice PB Sawant (SC retired)
Justice Hosbet Suresh (Bombay HC retired)
Justice Kolse Patil (former Bombay HC)
Ram Punyani , Author and Activist
Teesta Setalvad, Journalist, Author and Activist
Javed Anand,  Journalist and Activist
Muniza Khan, Academic and Activist
Khalid Anis Ansari, Academic and leader of Pasmanda Democratic Forum

And others